Some parents really stand out as exceptional sports parents. I wanted to share with your the story of Pamela Carey and her family because she and her husband really model what it means to be a great sports parent.
Pamela is the author of the book, Minor League Mom: A Mother’s Journey Through the Red Sox Farm Teams. It is a great read for any sports parent!
A Mother’s Journey Through The Red Sox Farm Teams
I guess to everyone except Charley and me it seemed almost a miracle that our two Ivy League sons signed contracts with the Boston Red Sox within ten days of each other in June, 1992. To us at the time, it was a natural extension of their abilities, an attainment of the next level they’d worked so hard to achieve. We had never looked beyond the next level.
It began at the beach. Charley would play “rundown” with the boys between two bases in the sand. Often many aspiring youngsters took turns as base runners. Charley was always one of the fielders positioned on a base, until finally he would give up from exhaustion. Then it moved to our Cumberland backyard with neighborhood kids. Charley pitched to one and all after work.
Through all the organized baseball, Charley coached, then advised, while I drove, cheered, organized raffles, bake sales, car washes.
Leagues melted into each other, four seasons a year with ice hockey, denying us school vacations because of tournaments in inaccessible or tundra-like places like the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or Peoria, Illinois.
It was a shared family effort – everyone involved every step of the way. Why? Because Charley and I believed that team settings develop leadership qualities, common goals, the ability to handle praise and criticism, wins and losses. We drove all over New England, investing our time in what we considered to be important aspects of our sons’ lives.
We missed “normal” activities like weddings; our social life centered around team parents. The laundry piled up, the grass grew long, and late-night homework made rising early a challenge. But our commitment became a way of life, habitual, accepted, and exciting.
The boys knew we were their support group. We praised them when they achieved. By age thirteen, they had to have summer jobs – washing pots and pans in a restaurant or weeding in a nursery. We allowed no sense of entitlement.
Nor did we let up on our academic expectations. Tim and Todd had to put as much time into developing their writing, math, or science skills as their skating or fielding. They knew there would be consequences if their grades dropped: the extracurricular activities would go.
We encouraged them simply because they loved to play. Once they committed, quitting wasn’t tolerated. Those early, frantic years laid the foundation for the subconscious dream of professional sports. As a family, we had already worked together to make difficult things happen – state championships, All-Star and All-Ivy status.
The final result? We remained constant cheerleaders through the seven-year journey of minor league life in the Red Sox. When their journeys ended, our sons knew they had followed a dream to its final conclusion.
To purchase her book or find out more about Pam and her family, click here.
Tell us what your family sacrificed so your kids could play their sport?
If you want that competitive advantage for your young athlete, go to: Perform Under Pressure for free video training to turbo-charge confidence, build resiliency, and learn life skills through participation in sports.
Craig Sigl, the Mental Toughness Trainer